Catnip (catmint) has been around forever. Cat owners are more than aware of catnip's effects on their pets, but the catnip plant has an exciting and varied history throughout the ages. Nepeta cataria is a proud member of the mint family, and it's a perennial plant native to Europe, Africa and Asia. Thanks to its growing popularity, catnip is now exported worldwide and is pretty much grown everywhere. We can now buy it fresh or dried, as seeds and seedlings, or buy it in an essential oil form. Catnip has a fresh, minty-herbaceous scent with sweet, woody and spicy undertones.
Catnip is frequently mentioned throughout history. Nepeta cataria is believed to have taken its name from the Etrurian city of Neptic (today, the town Nepi). Given the Egyptian's undying love of cats, it is highly likely that they were amongst the first people to use catnip. The Romans also regarded catnip very highly and used it in their recipes and herbal medicines. Catnip was introduced to America around the 18th century. Settlers took plant cuttings with them for food and medicinal purposes when they travelled to the New World, and there is a recipe from Massachusetts in 1712 that includes catnip in the list of ingredients. Native Americans also began to use catnip in their medicines and recipes after discovering it.
Benefits & Uses
- It helps to regulate menstruation.
- It helps to cure muscular and respiratory cramps.
- It promotes sweating and helps to remove toxins.
- Effective in curing insomnia, tension and anxiety.
- It can help with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
- It gives relief from acidity and cures stomach disorders.
- May promote urination and weight loss.